Harvey Barnes

Barnes: Young English Players Thriving At Leicester City

Harvey Barnes says Leicester City's structured approach to youth development is paying dividends after the Club's recent England call-ups.
More on this story...

- Leicester City midfielder Harvey Barnes discusses the impact the Club has had on his career
- The 20-year-old has scored five goals on loan at West Bromwich Albion this season
- Barnes says the Club is earning a reputation as a producer of top English talent 
- England's Under-21s play Andorra and Scotland in UEFA EURO qualifying this fortnight

Barnes, 20, has been rewarded for an excellent start to life on loan at West Bromwich Albion with a maiden call to duty with the England Under-21s side, while James Maddison joins Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell in Gareth Southgate's senior squad.

On the back of scoring five goals for the Baggies, Academy graduate Barnes joined Aidy Boothroyd's Young Lions at St George's Park ahead of UEFA U21 European Championship qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland this coming week. 

"I’ve really enjoyed the first few days, settling in, meeting everybody and just getting the first few sessions underway," Barnes said on Wednesday.

"I'm now just looking forward to the games. I’m enjoying myself at West Brom at the minute, I don’t know what will happen, we’ll have to see, but I’m enjoying it at the moment and I hope that continues.

It’s a great club to be at for the young players. It’s a well-regarded club in the Premier League now and it’s definitely a club that the England set-up looks at for players, we’ve got a lot of quality in the side.

Harvey Barnes

"For me personally [the loan] has been a great thing. Being able to drop down and play has been a good thing for me, you look at some of the players in the England senior team who have gone down that route.

"Harry Kane’s done it and look at where he is now. There has always been a progression [at Leicester City], when you do well you get put through – whether that is into age group above or a step into first-team for training.

"I feel like for me there has always been that steady progression where there has always been a new challenge as a player.

"Then the loan gave me the playing opportunity I needed – I think it’s hard in the Premier League when you are in the Under-23s to get a breakthrough into the first team.

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Barnes has been in sensational form for Darren Moore's Baggies in the Sky Bet Championship.

"It’s a great club for the young players to be at. It’s a well-regarded club in the Premier League now and it’s definitely a club that the England set-up looks at for players, we’ve got a lot of quality in the side."

England youngsters know they need just a point from their two remaining qualifiers to seal qualification and Barnes, the newest face in the group, says he has already noticed the quality in the camp.

"Of course, we know from these next two games we need to get the point and qualify for the tournament and then it’s all about performing at club level to make sure you make it in the summer," he added.

"There are some great players in the squad and great players who haven’t made the squad as well so I think there will be a lot of competition.

We have shown progression throughout all the age groups and there’s some really successful teams. It’s something we can control and deal with.

Harvey Barnes

"For me it’s just about getting through this next week and hoping to impress and then impressing at club level to get that spot.

"A lot of players are also playing in the Premier League, so it shows the quality we have in this age group and shows you just need to take your opportunity when you get it.

"It’s great to be around England and St George's Park, there is the expectation now with England youth teams of doing well in the major tournaments.

"We have shown progression throughout all the age groups and there’s some really successful teams. It’s something we can control and deal with."

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